Pebble Teardown Reveals A 120MHz Chip, Lots Of Glue

The Pebble smart watch is one of the most ephemeral pieces of hardware I’ve seen in a while. The watch is amazingly light and yet contains enough computing power to run a solid notifications system and, once development ramps up, any number of interesting apps. How do we know? iFixIt tore that thing to pieces just now and found a 120MHz ARM chip, 3-axis accelerometer, and a Bluetooth 2.1 and low-energy 4.0 chip.

Not surprisingly there are few surprises inside the case. Because it is waterproof to 50 meters, the designers essentially filled the case with glue which keeps things nice and tidy and wraps the circuitry in a gooey casing. They obviously had to destroy the thing to get inside – the front screen cracked as they pried it up – but they found an ARM Cortex-M3 MCU inside along with 32MB of storage. This is enough to run apps on the device and handle firmware updates.

Quoth iFixIt:

The Pebble employs tons of adhesive to keep water (and tinkerers) out. Add in a bezel around the screen, and it’s impossible to separate the cases without compromising the display.

How easy is this thing to fix? Not easy at all. “If you break one of [the] buttons, it can be replaced individually from the others; however, you still need to get inside the watch in the first place, a feat we have not yet mastered,” they write. Must really suck trying to replace the 3.7 volts and 130 mAh battery. In short, it seems, this Pebble is disposable.